What can we learn from Mrs. Cassidy?
In the video Little Kids...Big Potential, Mrs. Cassidy's class gives a tour of the different technologies they use on a daily basis. Her first graders have created blogs. The students stated that they really enjoy writing on their blogs because it helps with writing skills and other people can see it and leave them comments. I am still amazed by the fact that I have a blog. I always wanted to start one. I get so excited when I get comments, so I know how her students feel. I truly can not wait to have my own classroom and start my class blog! Also in the class, Webpages and Wikis are being used in the classroom to aid in research on the internet. The students use Skype to connect to different people from around the world. When the students are done with their work, they are allowed to play games from Mrs. Cassidy's webpage and play Nintendo DS in the classroom. I truly love her classroom design. When I start teaching Health Education, I want to have different health wellness check stations where there is a different technology tool at each station that the students can use. Students will use webpages to research if their readings on each vital sign taken are normal based on national health standards, record their vitals on a separate page, and write a post on their individual blog about their readings. Like Mrs. Cassidy, I would not only have a webpage station, but also a video stations where students can view videos about different health topics based on the vital sign health check. The benefits of having health stations are students will have a solid foundation before entering into the healthcare profession and students will have the basics as to why they must eat healthy and exercise regularly in order to not develop lifestyle diseases. Mrs. Cassidy's use of technologies are so inspiring. I hope my classroom will be just as creative as hers.
In the first Skype interview between Dr. Strange and Mrs. Cassidy, she expresses that a teacher does not have to know everything about technology all at once. She has gain over ten years of experience using a webpage and blogging. As a future educator, I have learned from Mrs. Cassidy that I must always stay knowledgeable about the changes in technology. I owe it to my students to always present the newest and best style of teaching using technologies. Also, I will definitely implement a class blog. This is where I will communicate with students outside of class and post projects and online quizzes. When faced with impediments, such as cheating on quizzes at home or using the internet for purposes other than class research, I would address the class as a whole. I would reinforce that online quizzes are to be done individually and internet use is for school work not personal use. If the problems continue, I would address the students that were involved and possibly take disciplinary actions.
Mrs. Cassidy talks about how she keeps her students safe while on the internet. She teaches her students to never use their last name and never post a picture of themselves. She also informs them to not click on ads and stay on websites that she approves. I really like how she would have her students make a different Facebook page so she would not have to see posts not related to school. I am addicted to Facebook so having a page designed strictly for class is a guarantee. I would take Mrs. Cassidy's advice and have my students make a separate one as well. Students, parents, and administrators must know that using technology is a safe and wonderful tool to use and should not be looked at as something scary. To ease parents and administrators concerns, I would stress safety is so important to me and will not be taken lightly!
In the second and third Skype interviews with Mrs. Cassidy, she talks about where to being when developing a personal network plan. "Do what interest you" is the advice she gave us. She gave the example of how Twitter is life-changing. The more often teachers use it, the more followers they will get. This is so true! Twitter has become a great benefit to me. I have gain several ideas on how to implement project based learning in my future health class by following other health teachers. When asked about how to use technology in Physical Education, Mrs. Cassidy presents the example what if practice needed to be moved and you had to reach all the players. Technology is more than just a computer, it also includes phones. She explains that the coach can text all the players instead of announcing it over the intercom. Being an athletic trainer, I already incorporate this form of technology with my student-trainer staff. When I want to inform my student-trainers of game-day attire, I text them instead of trying to track them down in their classes.
By using Mrs. Cassidy's approach to the use of technology, I will become a better teacher as well as a better learner. The techniques she uses in incorporating technology are by far well above standards for 21st century teaching. Although I still have plenty to learn about different technologies, I hope to continue to build on the foundation she has established. A 21st century style teacher is what I strive to become!